Several Mt. Vernon Schools have focused on philanthropic or character-building activities the week of October 26. Students had the opportunity to get involved by wearing a specific color or dressing up to represent each day’s charity or by making philanthropic donations.
Mt. Vernon High School and Mt. Comfort Elementary are participating in “Socktober,” a month dedicated to collecting socks to help the homeless in the community. They have paired with a local organization who, as part of their community outreach efforts, delivers food, clothes, and blankets to homeless camps every week.
Mt. Comfort Elementary principal, Heather Whitaker, states “We are following ‘Kid President’s’ lead and have set a goal of donating 550 pairs of new socks to homeless or home insecure people. We have already collected approximately 250 socks as of Tuesday. Let’s watch our young people make a difference. The community can help by dropping off a pair/pack of new socks at Mt. Comfort Elementary or Mt. Vernon High School.”
*Post article launch, on Friday they reached over 600 pairs of socks. Mt. Vernon High School collected over 500 pairs of socks and donated them to the Hope House of Hancock County.
According to the www.HappySocktober.com website, every night in the U.S. an estimated 600,000 people live on the streets. This national effort has the goal of two million people donating socks, proving that small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of our homeless neighbors.
Character Counts Week
In addition to Socktober, Mt. Comfort Elementary is also leading the character-building experience with “Character Counts Week.” This research-based program is endorsed by the U.S. President and government. It has six pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Mt. Comfort Elementary also adds the “Mix-It-Up Day” during this week where students will sit at a different lunch table with students they may not know. Conversation starters/questions are provided on the table to prompt discussions.
On Monday, Mt. Comfort students wore neon to “glow with trustworthiness,” Tuesday was the mix and match or backwards clothes for respect and mix-it-up day, and on Wednesday students dressed nicely to symbolize responsibility. On Thursday students wore sports apparel for fairness, and ended the week on Friday by dressing up as Super Heroes representing Caring and Citizenship. Additional information on Character Counts Week can be found on www.charactercounts.org.
Cancer Awareness Week
The Mt. Vernon Middle School is holding Cancer Awareness Week teaching students about the prevention and different types of cancer. The student council is chairing this effort and selling colored bandanas for $1; all money raised is donated to the American Cancer Society. Each day, students also heard an announcement about the cancer of the day, including statistics, symptoms and/or prevention.
On Monday, Mt. Vernon Middle School students wore white for Lung Cancer, on Tuesday students wore black representing Skin Cancer, and Wednesday was Lymphoma Cancer with the color green. On Thursday, Leukemia was represented with orange, and the week ends with pink supporting Breast Cancer awareness.
Red Ribbon Week
McCordsville Elementary is celebrating being drug-free with Red Ribbon Week. This national campaign promotes an anti-drug message to students. (See www.redribbon.org for additional details.) To help with the drug-free pledge, students have dress-up days. Monday was “Team up against drugs” and students wore a sports jersey/shirt; on Tuesday students donned a hat/cap to “Put a cap on drugs.” On Wednesday, students made the statement “I’m a true blue ‘jean’ous, I’m drug-free” by wearing a blue shirt and jeans. Thursday was “Be hip, don’t dip” and clothes from the 70’s or 80’s will be in abundance. Students will “Wrap up the Red Ribbon Week” by wearing as much red as possible on Friday.
Character Building Through the Year
Fortville Elementary has also been working on character-building activities throughout the school year. During each 9-weeks of school, each grade level met with Mr. Kendall, Fortville Elementary School’s Social Worker, and developed strategies to be respectful. For the rest of the semester, the character education focus is honesty. Next semester will highlight responsibility and caring, beginning with a book or video to help demonstrate and prompt discussions. At the conclusion, students are given an activity in relation to the specific character trait.
Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation provides tools throughout each student’s school career that help develop good citizenship, healthy living, and the ability to participate effectively in a culturally diverse society.